Posts Tagged ‘personal trainer’

I am a Body of Work in Progress

My life is a happy balance ~ Stephanie Joanne

My life is a happy balance ~ Stephanie Joanne

Describing myself and what I do is always the most challenging task. To be very honest, the simple truth is I am a personal trainer. I have been blessed with some great exposure and tv/media opportunities which have opened up some doors for me. The one thing I’m not afraid of is walking towards those doors and making things happen. I really believe that there are no chance meetings. Keeping this in mind, I am always thinking of ways to collaborate with those around me. Currently I am working with a few companies in marketing and the exposure side of their business. Aligning myself with key organizations such as The Treadmill Factory has my time tied up these days.

I was brought up in Europe. Sports and play were daily activities. I did it all. My parents pretty much encouraged me to play and do as much as my spare time could allow. Following a full extracurricular program my memories are of my father playing games outside with me that he played during his childhood. My big brother Jonathan always included me in games that he played with his friends and I played OBA (Ontario Basketball) until I was seventeen. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure that it’s because of this early interaction that I turned into quite the tomboy and sport fanatic. I also joined a gym with my Mom at thirteen years of age and I’ve been in love with fitness ever since. It’s like brushing my teeth. Something feels terribly wrong if I don’t move.

The hardest obstacle for me thus far has been trying to figure out who I am in this role as a “fitness expert”. I spend most of my time with media related obligations and in meetings. Yet somehow all I want to do is wear my tights and workout. Finding balance and making sure I enjoy the process of creating my brand has been my primary focus. My boyfriend frequently reminds me to stop and be grateful for all that I have already accomplished before looking at what is next. I need to be constantly reminded of this.

I keep my workout routine and supplements simple. I box twice a week, hot yoga twice a week and train at the gym three times. I take Cygen Powergreens21 and Cygen Fish Oil. I am obsessed with the new victory bars, my OhYeah and Quest bars have always been a staple. I am in love with this new Yoga place I found. The girl teaching is the best I have come across in YEARS!! Her name is Karin (from YogaTree) and she has me determined to get into all these poses I would have never thought possible. Bending legs behind my head, balance and hand/head stands…all that good stuff!

I have a great team of individuals cheering me on! My Dad offers a welcomed thumbs up and tells his little girl he is proud at times when I feel like I am still that 7 year old girl who does not have a clue what she is doing or where she is going. In reality this is the truth. The older I get the more I realize that “adults” as we knew it when we were kids, don’t quite have it all together like we thought they did. My brother is that guy who will always take care of his little sis; pick me up when and if I fall kind of brother. It sure makes life a lot easier knowing that even when the rest of the world thinks “you’ve made it” on the inside you still need to know that if time ever came and you’re about to fall, that someone’s going to catch you. That person would be my brother, hands down. My best friend Sabrina is the one I literally speak to for at least an hour a day. She is the one who knows all the details. It’s like a very attractive human diary. Then the man behind the woman is Sheldan. Most days after I’m finished running my business and taking on the world, he gets the cranky version of me. The version most would not believe existed. The big joke is that the Stephanie Joanne turns back into the Stephanie Beekhuysen (which is my real name) and all I want to do is sulk and get back rubs. He deals with me and he supports me, which gets him major points all day long. Life really is all about relationships. As long as I value my relationships and the time I spend with the people I love, everything else will fall into place…. I hope!

I'm always going to be Daddy's little girl ~ Stephanie Joanne

I’m always going to be Daddy’s little girl ~ Stephanie Joanne

If remaining committed to fitness is a challenge for you and you’re trying to figure out what’s the best path to success I really think it’s time to start looking inward for the solution. Too often people trust what “experts” have to say and they get caught up in a war of conflicting information. When I get stuck I turn off my cell phone; I turn away from the computer and I sit with a pen and paper. It may take me 5 minutes or it may (and often does) take me all day and night; but I take that much needed time to re-group and journal what it is that I want and more so why I want it. I take the time to answer the important questions, “What does it mean to me? What do I have to do to make my goals happen?” Then I act on it. I strongly suggest that you do the same.

Throughout this entire journey I have found that there really is nothing more important than my time and energy. I have had the fancy job and the fancy title and I reached a place in life where I had to let it go. No regrets! Now, I have the energy to do everything that I am passionate about in my own time.

My message is simple, take control of your life.

Twitter @stefjoanne or


A personal fitness trainer will work with you on an individual basis to create and monitor an exercise regimen tailored to your fitness goals. There are several advantages to using a personal trainer, whether you are aiming for health maintenance, weight loss, rehabilitation and recovery — or training for a specific event or race. A good personal trainer should be experienced and certified in the field, and ready to listen to your fitness history, ambition and any concerns about exercise.

Motivation and Monitoring

A personal trainer can be an effective way to get motivated about sticking to an exercise schedule. As well as devising your workout schedule, your personal fitness trainer will monitor your progress and let you know how you are advancing toward your fitness goals. If you are prone to making excuses not to exercise, the presence and monitoring of a personal trainer may make it more difficult to avoid exercising on a routine basis.


Personal fitness trainers can help educate you about how to exercise efficiently and what activities and intensity levels are appropriate for your age and ability. A trainer will also discuss your medical history and present health condition. She can monitor your execution of these exercises to make sure you’re performing them effectively. Your personal trainer can also advise you about appropriate sporting equipment choices such as the best type of training shoes for your body type and exercise style.

Individual Tailoring

Your personal trainer will create an exercise plan which is specific to your personal medical history and heath goals. He/she can make sure you don’t attempt any common exercises or exercise forms which are inappropriate or dangerous for you; as well can adapt exercises and workouts to accommodate an existing injury or disability. Personal trainers can play an important part in recovery and rehabilitation.

Physical Safety

If you are new to regular exercise, or if you have a health condition which may be exacerbated by exercise, the presence of a personal trainer can help ensure your personal safety while you’re working out. If you are significantly obese, starting an exercise program intended for weight loss may be done most safely with the presence or supervision of a personal trainer to hold you accountable. Also, strenuous exercise may carry risk of injury (ie. bad form or placing your heart under strain). If you experience problems while working out, your personal trainer can call or assist with medical help.

Your friends at Socially Fit

In home personal trainers and Corporate Wellness programs available at

Genesis Pro Training

Progress Pic – Courtney Feb/12 (lost 20 lbs)

I am the co-founder of a health and fitness company called Genesis Pro Training & Nutrition Systems. I live with my boyfriend, business partner, trainer and best friend (all the same amazing man) Mike. I recently left a job that I went to school for to expand the Genesis business into the most-recognized name in the health and fitness industry. Together we’re working on building a training center that will eventually expand throughout Southern Ontario, and then across Canada. Outside of the gym I am a freelance graphic designer and I love some good ol’ typography; the study of fonts. I also enjoy nature, and going for hikes through local waterfalls.

College Rugby

When I was little girl I was very active in sports and leisure activities. My parents signed me up for gymnastics, baseball, dance and figure skating. I always enjoyed dance and participated in ballet, jazz and  hip-hop classes when I was a little older. It wasn’t until High School, that I played badminton, touch football and rugby. In College I continued to play on the intramural touch football and rugby teams. I also played on the Varsity badminton team for two years. In my third year of college I finally obtained my first gym membership. I had always enjoyed sports and being active, but only on a social level. I grew up with a pool in my backyard and was always swimming in the summer, but never really took fitness seriously. In my third year after I had gained the well-known “Freshman 15” (which I think for me was about the Freshman 20), I had to make a change.

I signed up for Oxygen magazine subscriptions and started reading all the health and fitness magazines while at the gym on the cardio machines. I kept digging and digging for new information, new workouts to try, and was very inspired by the fitness models that I saw in the magazines. I wanted to be just like them one day. I noticed minor changes in my body and overall performance so I started working out consistently, but it wasn’t until I met Mike in January of 2012 that I properly applied the knowledge retained to my health and fitness. Prior to January, I had plateaued. I couldn’t get my body to change for the life of me. I’m certain that partying didn’t help, and there were other triggers that I just didn’t want to let go of in my life. When I finally decided that I wanted to become healthier; look and feel better; not just for a short-term, but for the rest of my life, it became my new focus. It was a new beginning. It’s not just about looking good on the outside, but feeling good on the inside, that I find most important. Now I place my health first and am confident that the body I want will come in time when my health is optimal.

Every day I wake up beside the love of my life, who is as grounded in health as I am, and I know that if I’m not motivated to work out, then he’s right there beside me, encouraging me. Every weekend we go over a list of goals, to remind ourselves of what we need to accomplish in the upcoming week. We make minor adjustments as we grow and we’re always looking for new ways to improve our health and increase our fitness levels. It wasn’t always this way. When my mindset for health and fitness changed years ago, it was hard for my friends and family to accept my new direction. At family functions and get-togethers, they would often ignore the fact that I didn’t eat certain foods and would offer them to me any way. They would question my decisions, as if it were odd. Over the years I’ve learned to let go of what others thought, and I focus on what’s important to me. I had to let go of some friends and I now have a stronger circle of people who care about me and support my efforts.

Goal attained – I ran 8,670 stairs in 73 minutes

Back in February 2012 I changed my workout routine and my diet plan. I lost 20 lbs and felt great. I didn’t listen to my friends or family when they said that I didn’t look great. How I felt on the inside was most important to me. It was very difficult to hear my trainer (now my boyfriend) say that with training I was going to gain that weight back. After years of staying the same weight and finally losing some, I couldn’t believe that I had to go right back to where I started. Great reason not to look at the scale, or use weight as a measure! Not fully accepting that what I lost was body fat, and what I will eventually gain is lean muscle was the source of my frustration in the moment. This was definitely a hard obstacle to overcome, and a great lesson to learn.

Goals are a constant motivator for me, and one of my biggest accomplishments thus far has been a stair climb (fundraiser) in my city. After three months of training I was able to run 8,670 stairs  in 73 minutes. I had set that goal 12 months prior and was very proud of myself when I attained it. Completing a certain number of chin-ups unassisted, or beating my previous training time are examples of other goals that I set for myself. As a result my workout routine is constantly changing. You can never stick to a set regime and expect different results. My workout routines are created by Genesis Pro Training Systems.

A few weeks ago you would find me in the gym doing cardio in the mornings and heavy weights in the evenings. Now it’s a Metabolic Conditioning or CrossFit style of training. With my Genesis custom program, I am taking supplements such as, Glutamine, Leucine, Arginine, Assault (a pre-workout by MP) and post-workout protein (by Perfect Nutrition), all used sparingly. I am taking an incredible liquid multivitamin by Awareness that is all natural. I have cleansed my body from years of fat burners, pills and any other supplements that are commonly used by fitness fanatics. My meal plan is always changing on my Genesis Nutrition Program, and I am currently cutting calories to reach new goals.

Recently, my meal plan consisted of the following:

First thing in the AM: 1 tsp French Green Clay mixed with water

Pre-workout drink

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 100ml whites, ½ apple

Snack: ½ apple, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter, 3 celery stalks

Lunch: 3oz chicken, 50g sweet potato, 1/4c mixed nuts

Snack: 3oz smoked salmon, 1c green salad, ½c mixed veggies, 1 tbsp dressing

Pre-workout drink

Post-workout shake with 250mL coconut water

Optional: small meal if hungry before bed

Oct/12 learning to “KIP” a CrossFit form of pull-up

My current fitness goals are to achieve a CrossFit style physique. I am looking for overall muscle mass and to lean out slightly. Through a strict and consistent diet and interval training, I know that I will be able to achieve my goals by 2013. I want to share with everyone that becoming healthier isn’t just a fad or a diet. It’s the ultimate life decision and a lifestyle change that they need to accept and be willing to commit to. If they aren’t absolutely dedicated and determined to make it work, then it will never happen. Everyone has different goals; what may work for some people, may not work for others. At Genesis PTS, we create custom programs to help people reach their goals and put their health first. We ‘study’ your lifestyle and learn about you as much as possible. It’s hard to eat or do something that you hate to get to your goals. That’s why we create your custom nutrition and training programs to best suit your needs. We don’t pump you full of supplements either; we believe that food is the ultimate medicine and it can cure you of any illness.

I am privileged to be able to share my health and fitness story with everyone, and really hope that I can help others attain their goals. Whether it’s just one sentence that I said that motivated someone to get off the couch, or to make a complete lifestyle change, I believe that you have the power to create your own beginning and I am here to help in any way possible.

You can find me on Facebook Courtney Ustrzycki and follow me on Twitter @courtney_u. If you need to contact me directly you can also email me at

I look forward to hearing from you.

I’m Fit Not Skinny


Growing up I struggled a lot in school with my academics.  I hated school and my teachers always accused me of giving up and not working hard enough.  My parents both owned their own businesses so I would be dropped off at school and left alone to get home, watch TV and eat.  By the time I was in the 4th grade I would go home and make a full box of Hamburger Helper or other boxed item.  I always loved sports and was even on a traveling basketball team. I never got to play because I was “too fat and slow”.  I began to hate practice because I knew I would never play. After a while I quit basketball and didn’t pick up another sport until volleyball came around in Junior High.  I could care less about the food I ate.  I just knew that I felt better when I ate.  During my 5th grade year I started having severe side pains and I struggled with the pain for 6 months till my doctor took out my gallbladder.  Two months later, I fell and dislocated my right hip and had to have emergency surgery.  I was on crutches for 2 months and I continued to eat and eat because I was behind scholastically and was missing out on what other kids my age were up to.  Going into the 6th grade I was right around 175lb.  I always joked about my weight and figured that it gave kids at school less of a chance to make fun of me.  At the end of my 6th grade year I switched eye Doctors and found out that one of the reasons for my poor academics were “somewhat” related to the muscles in my right and left eye.  One was weaker than the other.  I spent the following summer in eye therapy while everyone else was swimming and playing summer ball.

Alison with her brother

When I got into High School I got started on the Atkins diet and followed it on point very well.  I lost 40lbs, but then didn’t lose anymore.  I wanted to just maintain, but it seemed that no matter what I did, I continued to gain weight.  Going into College I refused to gain my weight back, but I gained that and more.  I reached my heaviest of 226lbs.  I was working out 3-4 hours a day; sometimes I’d skip class to work out, and actually would go a few days at a time without eating.  I was working for the football coach in the Athletic Department when one of the coaches recommended that I take a personal training class.  All my friends were athletic trainers or in some form of the Sciences so I took the class. With my exercise and diet being monitored for 6 weeks and me continuing to gain weight and inches, my professor/basketball coach informed me I should visit my Doctor for further help.  After visiting 3 different Doctors, the 3rd one finally diagnosed me with hypothyroidism.  This is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones.  It can be brought on by several factors, but one main cause is simply being obese.  I had a huge risk of becoming diabetic and I didn’t want that.  Family members on both sides have it and I didn’t want that for my future.  I came home after getting my medicine and googled, “Diabetic Diets”.  This site brought up a simple to follow plan and I dedicated my whole summer to the workouts from combined with Oxygen Magazine’s workouts and meal plans and in 3 months I had lost 35 pounds.  I continued to buy books on thyroid disorders and met with nutritionists, and started working out with a woman trainer who had a back ground with hormonal issues.  The weight continued to come off and since I chose to make being fit my LIFESTYLE, like Oxygen Magazine references, I’ve lived by those principles ever since.

Alison with her brother

I know that ultimately, my strength comes from God.  I know that the desire he placed in my heart is for HIS will and I’m only following along for the ride.  I see it as the struggle that I had to overcome helps me to guide and encourage others; just to hear me say “You Got This”.  I ultimately believed in myself and I KNOW that everyone has it within them, it’s just my job to figure out what motivates them so I can tap into that and bring out their fullest potential.  Working-out is only part of being overweight. It’s so much more mental.  We all need someone to hold us accountable! The desire to never be the old me drives me on a daily basis.  I see so many individuals who overcome serious physical challenges and my challenge is “my self’.  I know what I need to eat to stay fit.  If my eating slacks, so does my attitude towards myself and others.  I want to lead by example. Those closest to me have loved me at my worst and now we look back and laugh about how I would eat a whole bag of Oreos.  I’m disgusted with my old self, but we look back at it because it was something only I could do for myself.  So many times when I was overweight I would pray to God to look like my friend.  I compared myself to others and would stand in the mirror and tell myself I was ugly and that I shouldn’t even be living.  I HONESTLY, am my worst critic.  I am harder on myself than anyone could ever be.  I have had to learn to accept myself and love myself for who I am.  I realized I couldn’t even love my family until I really loved myself. 

Alison (centre) with brother, and cousin on right – 2009

My lowest point, which I rarely tell, is that one day I was driving home from my cousin’s house and I thought that if I actually hit the bridge I would die and wouldn’t have to live in my ugly body anymore.  I remember hating myself so badly I would go to sleep wishing to die.  There is nothing worse than the feeling of not even believing in yourself.  NEVER will I be there again.  I LOVE ME! 

I’ve completed 2 1/2 marathons and several 5-10K runs and walks.  I was featured on Nike Women’s “Making Yourself” spotlight, recognized by Complete Nutrition’s Success Story of 2011, featured in Oxygen Magazine August 2011 and will be in an upcoming issue about Thyroid disorders. I am a Life Guard, Water Safety Instructor, CPR & AED Instructor, Spin Instructor, and as for May 28th… PERSONAL TRAINER!  I will be getting my Zumba certificate at the end of July and deeply desire to do the Nike Women’s full marathon in California one day.

I currently take BCAA’s and glutamine after each workout and currently my workouts are two times a day, however I also have classes that I teach.  My week starts with upper body and cardio, day two lower body and cardio, day 3 cardio 2X , then rest and repeat. I’m working on my abs right now so I’m really cutting out all sugars and salts. I have not had a nice stomach since birth. I’d love to see it!

My Current Meal Plan:
Meal 1 1 1/2 cups green veg and 1 piece fruit 
Meal 2 2 cups veg

Meal 3 1 1/2 cup green veg 1 piece fruit

Meal 4 1 scoop whey protein 1 piece fruit
Meal 5 2 cups green veg
I drink unsweetened almond milk with 2 cups spinach in between if I need an extra boost of flavor or energy.

Alison (today) Fit not Skinny

I originally started my fit journey because I was afraid I would never get married, but after finding out there was so much more to being “fit not skinny” I’ve dedicated my life to it.  I never would have imagined I would have done the things I have done so far.  I gained a whole new self-respect for myself and that is why I started training others.  I want them to view their lives as valuable and worthy.  I want others to know that they matter and that they are loved.  I want to help others gain their life back. I want them to be in control of their next move and share that encouragement with one other person.  If I can change ONE person’s life, I will die a happy woman.  It’s all for HIS glory. Let’s keep motivating others and sharing our stories and hopefully we can help that one person that I once viewed as myself.

Live to inspire, and be inspired to live.


Twitter: @Fit_not_skinny Facebook: Alison Hager Instagram: Fit_not_skinny

My blog:

Galaxy Training for Athletes


My journey to health and fitness is a long one. As a child I grew up eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. My parents are Jamaican so in my house we ate very well and there was never really a demand for healthy eating. We would usually have large amounts of food pretty much every meal of the day. End result of that was me being 210lbs by the age of 12. I was always teased, “fat boy” seemed to be a staple for what people would call me. So I turned into a bully so that people wouldn’t say much to me about my size. Even though I was big, I was very active and agile for my size. It usually shocked people how this “fat boy” would finish 1st in track and field events or win athlete of the year annually in elementary school.

High school came and I slimmed to about 190lbs because I was very serious about playing basketball. It was my passion and I didn’t want to have a crutch. Due to lack of knowledge and a bad foundation my eating habits were terrible! If I knew then what I know now, it would’ve been scary how good I would’ve been. Even with being a bit heavier than most I was still a very good player. When I went to college it was the same thing, still heavy, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. My girlfriend at the time was pregnant and basketball didn’t take me down the path I had expected it to. I ended up playing a couple of years in college but my weight was ALWAYS in question, so I pretty much stopped playing basketball. This is where it all went down hill for a bit. I started drinking and partying. I was also eating terrible foods very late and going to sleep. Before I knew it I was up to 260lbs.

The transformation

Basketball continued to be my passion so I decided to stay involved with the game through coaching and skill development. Growing up I’d always be the one at the park running workouts for my friends or kids in my area so I had a passion for training. The problem was I’d train and then eat McDonald’s. In late 2007, I decided start a business involving basketball skill development because I was very good at that. I knew a bit about physical development so I used what I knew and started training ball players all over the city. My reputation started to build once I started working with a few PRO basketball players and their friends, mainly Jevohn Sheppard and Jermaine Anderson from our Canadian National team.

At this point my business didn’t have a name and I asked myself a very crucial question “how am I training people and I’m out of shape?!” I wanted to have the ability to get people into shape as well as developing their skill as basketball players. Around this time my daughter’s mother and I broke up so I found myself with more time, but also a new focus. I wanted more for my daughter and I didn’t want to be the out of shape Daddy. I wanted to be more knowledgeable about the fitness world so I enrolled into Durham College’s health and fitness promotions program. I started doing two a day workouts. I also decided that I wanted to play basketball again for my last year of college. I changed my eating habits completely; no fast food, no juice, and no sweets. I would lift in the morning before class, play basketball on my break and then do cardio again in the evening. As I did all of this I was still running my business and doing my school work. While doing all these things I found time to study and get my personal trainers certification through CPTN.

Cedric Carter – CEO Galaxy Training

It was the most focused I’ve ever been in my life. It was not only a physical transformation, but a mental one as well. I wanted to change the way my life was going and I felt like I had to be happy with myself before I could do that. Nine and a half months after I put my mind to it; I lost 60lbs, cut my body fat % from 33% to 14% and I made my college team. We made it to Nationals while having one of the top teams in the east division of the OCAA. It was the best I’ve ever felt in my life and the rest is history.

My business in 2009 was registered as Galaxy Training for Athletes and it is known as one of the top training programs in the country. I currently work with a lot of professional, college and high school basketball players. I don’t just work with athletes, I do body development for the average person trying to stay fit as well. I go around to schools and share my story to hopefully inspire children who go through the same struggles I went through. I appreciate anyone who will listen and anyone that I can inspire. 

You can contact me directly on FB: Galaxy Training for Athletes or e-mail me at My website is under construction so look out for that in a few months.

Thanks to Socially Fit for allowing me to share my story.

Cedric Carter